7. Myth: I don’t know how to select LED. It’s too confusing!
Consumers will need to learn two new things to buy the correct color lamp, Color Temperature (CCT) and Color Rendering Index (CRI). These are the two scales used to characterize light.
Color Temperature measures the visual appearance of the color of light and runs from a very warm, orange light (candlelight) at 1500 Kelvin (K) to very blue (skylight) at around 10,000 K. Residential lighting in North America has heretofore lived in a very narrow band, between 2700K (60W incandescent) and 3000K (Halogen.) Stay between these two and the color will feel very natural, 2700K in warmer environments and 3000K in cooler spaces.
Color Rendering Index is a scale from zero (a Black & White TV) to 100 and tells us how well the light interprets color. Look for CRIs in the mid-80’s and above. Lower measurements will make objects appear grayish, dull and uninviting.
FUN FACT: CRI and CCT MUST be used in tandem. Using one measurement and ignoring the other will result in poor combined performance.
Choosing the correct Color Temperature and CRI, using lumens rather than wattage, considering “life cost” and knowing that the cost of electricity will only rise helps us wade through the allegation and non-valid chatter currently heard. Good lighting can be delivered by LED.